The alcohol industry in developing countries

D. H. Jernigan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Although the alcohol industry takes many different forms in the wide diversity of developing countries, recent trends in alcohol production and worldwide trade show that globalized alcoholic beverages are playing a leading role in developing societies. Although most alcohol is produced and consumed locally, and the headquarters of most of the largest alcohol manufacturers are in developed countries, the production structure of these commodities explains their influence. Looking at the production of globalized alcohol as a commodity chain suggests the importance of the last two links in the chain, namely marketing and advertising. Heavy reliance on these links raises high entry barriers, increases profitability, and puts the global transnationals increasingly in charge of creating the imagery of drinking. This export of brands and brand images rather than actual products in turn influences how alcohol and what alcohol is being consumed. While global companies use the sophisticated marketing technologies honed in the developed countries, governments and other public health authorities in most developing countries have little technology at their disposal for monitoring, preventing or treating alcohol-related problems. international leadership is needed to counter the influence of the global alcohol companies in developing societies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14-20
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Substance Use
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)


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